Multi-state operators are cannabis companies that have storefronts or businesses in multiple states. They are like large cannabis corporations. Starting a cannabis business is expensive and navigating cannabis laws is time-consuming, especially because laws are different in every state. Large companies with a lot of capital can more easily expand into a new state when it legalizes weed, pushing out competition from small companies.
Are cannabis MSOs good or bad?
A concern with MSOs in the cannabis space is that the whole industry will eventually be run by a handful of companies—like “Big Ag,” in which only a handful of corporations own most agriculture production in the US, except for cannabis.
This would push out small growers and dispensaries, as they would not be able to compete with large corporations. For consumers, this could lead to a lack of variety and quality in cannabis products—for example, only being able to choose between Coke or Pepsi.
Some states favor small growers and business owners by writing into their cannabis laws that only state residents, or those who have lived in the state for a certain amount of years, can operate or gain a license, excluding large companies with a lot of capital from out of state.